Leslie Cook

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Feb 06, 2015 04:42PM

 

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Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell
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I picked this book up in the university book store because I had to break a hundred. I don't often splurge on hardbacks, but I am glad I pick this book to do so. At a time in my own life where I am thinking about raising my own daughter to be a fulfi ...more
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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
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I listened to Ms. Rimes read this book and felt like she was sitting next to me. Her friendly style only went overboard for me a time or two, but the content of this memoir of a year of this amazing writer's life rang true. I will listen to it again ...more
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Girls, Social Class, and Literacy by Stephanie Jones
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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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To be honest, I had never read any Vietnam-era literature when I read this book 8 years ago. Since reading it the first time, I have come back to passages in this book over and over again. It's not just the story of the war, but the brilliant way O'B ...more
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Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
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Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
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More of Leslie's books…
Carol Rifka Brunt
“That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space.
The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again.
So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.”
Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“Good intention” is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Madeleine L'Engle
“A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

Paulo Coelho
“Closing The Cycle

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.”
Paulo Coelho

Willa Cather
“The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

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